Networking at live events isn’t going to happen for a while. Coronavirus has forever changed the way we live, work and play and this is one area that will change significantly. Therefore, knowing how to network and connect on Linkedin can be the next best thing. In fact, as the Yellow Pages used to say ‘Let your fingers do the walking.’ I actually prefer to network and connect on Linkedin as it saves time and money. Having said that, I still love to physically connect with people, but if there’s one thing Covid-19 has taught us, there’s more than one way to connect.
However, if online networking isn’t done correctly, you can leave people feeling like they’ve been spammed or pushed into a relationship without a good first date. There are a variety of social media platforms where you can network and connect online but I don’t use all of them as I tend to focus on the platforms that are best for the outcome I’m looking for.
I find Linkedin is the best way to connect with serious business people. I’m not saying that there aren’t serious business people on other social media platforms, but this one has worked the best for me. I am often looking for business partnerships, guests for my podcast show and people who are great connectors. It’s easy to search by keywords and companies. I can also see who is connected to the people I’m connected with and ask for an introduction. However, if done poorly, it’s not a good experience.
Here are my recommendations:
1) Have a read of their published articles or posts on Linkedin. Where you genuinely find something of interest, like and comment.
2) Wait a day and then send a connect request but make sure to include a personal note in the request. Please DO NOT use a standard message as it has no value in my mind. If you haven’t cared enough to find out something about me and mention it in the message, then I won’t connect.
3) I find that 90% of the time if I follow the above process they will connect with me. Once they have, send them another message thanking them and if you have enough gumption, ask them for a phone call so you can play ‘what if’. (That’s another article that will be coming soon)
4) And/or you can ask them if there is anything you can do for them. Sometimes this will garner a reply and sometimes it won’t. The fact that you asked will leave a memorable thought of you in their mind.
5) Before you do any of the above, make sure your Linkedin profile is professionally put together and highlights you and your achievements in the best way possible.
Here are some profile tips to better help you network and connect on Linkedin
1) Get a good headshot. My son took mine. I’m sure there’s someone in your family or friendship circle who could take some. These days, your mobile phone camera is good enough for this. Head and shoulder shot is fine, make sure the light is in front of you and think about your surroundings ensuring it’s not too busy.
2) Write your bio in a way that highlights who you are and your achievements to date.
3) Add any awards, media and speaking gigs that are worth mentioning.
4) Request endorsements from people you know in the field you want to be known for.
5) Ask for recommendations from high-level people in your industry. Make it easy for them by giving them a rough guideline for what you’re looking for, leaving them the blanks to fill in.
6) Don’t accept every request you receive for connections. Be selective, as anyone you bring into the fold, will also have an impact on the other people in your account.
7) Create a list of people who you wish to stay top of mind and regularly read and comment on their content. This will not only put you in front of their mind, it will also develop a relationship. Eg – I want to get Arianna Huffington on my podcast so she’s on my list! One day she’ll say yes!
8) Like and comment on people’s comments when they leave one of your posts and articles. It’s a polite way to acknowledge that they’ve taken the time
So… please connect with me on Linkedin and leave me a note when you do. I’d love to know which one of my thoughts helped show you how to network and connect on Linkedin.
By Ludwina Dautovic
Founder and CEO, The Room Xchange
PS: Here’s a bit of fun. The old Yellow Pages advertisement from 2016 – ‘Let your fingers do the walking.’